by Nate Heasley for Digital Living Today
For the past few years, the word “convergence” has been a droning industry mantra. Eventually, the theory goes, all of the devices that we use on a daily basis will melt into one or two uber-devices that will do it all. In the home, the TV, DVD, and PC are coming together in products like the Neon NTV2500. In the mobile world, the line between phone and PDA are starting to blur, with PDAs now available in even the smallest of phones. But real PDA power has only been glimpsed in a few models, such as the Kyocera Palm OS phone and the Ericsson RM300. The next generation will be the most sophisticated yet, phones that run a version of Microsoft Windows CE 3.0, code-named “Stinger,” specifically designed for integration with cell phones.
Sendo’s Z100 Smartphone (www.sendo.com) will be one of the first Stingers to hit the market. Expected this summer (release date and price not yet set), the Z100 Smartphone will sport a brilliant 64,0000 color screen measuring three inches, enough real estate for all of the necessary PDA functions. Since the phone has 16 megabytes of memory, there will be plenty of room for thousands of phone numbers, full-sized Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and years’ worth of appointments. The Sendo will also handle email, and will back-up all data when synced to a PC.
On top of all this, the Z100 will play MP3s and games, download third party applications, and support hands-free headsets. Phone calls will automatically interrupt your music playback, so you’ll never miss a call. Games will not be interrupted though, so you can keep playing Classic PacMan while on the phone with your CFO. (“What, sales are still down? Time to ‘upgrade’ some of that shiftless sales force…”)
On the phone side, the Z100 will work on standard CDMA frequencies, and other versions will work on other networks, both in the US and abroad. Since the PDA is integrated into the phone, the Stinger OS sports a fully integrated Web-browser for navigating the Net. All of these features are being combined into a package not much larger than today’s standard cell phone.
With all of this baked-in functionality, there’s almost nothing you won’t be able to do. Your new workspace will be the park; your new office mates the pigeons. This isn’t just convergence, it’s a whole new way to office. Wait, where have I heard that line before?
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